Are you looking for a new way to spend more quality time with your pooch other than walks or cuddles on the couch? If so, it might be time to break out the yoga mat.
Yes, we’re talking about dog yoga, or what some refer to as “doga.” Studies have been conducted that link doing yoga with your dog to increased present-moment awareness, mindfulness, and enhanced relationships.
Here is a list of poses that you and your dog can get started with. Some yoga studios are now beginning to offer sessions with dogs or, you can choose to do these on your own from the comfort of your own home:
• Relaxed Breathing
Relax you and your dog by beginning with some simple, controlled breathing. Your dog should be sitting close by or on you. Start breathing and focus on each breath in and out. Incorporate thinking about your dog and become in-sync with their breathing pattern and focus on how much you love your dog.
Have your dog lay on their stomach. Stroke and massage their back lightly.
• Heart-to-Hound Mundra
This is another great pose for closely connecting with your dog. Sit on the floor with your legs crossed and your dog in front of you facing forward. Hold one hand over your dog’s heart and the other over your own. Close your eyes and focus on breathing in-sync with your dog.
• The Chair
Have your dog sit back on his hind legs. Hold your dog around the middle of his back. Then, help your dog raise their front paws. Begin massaging your dog’s shoulders as you lift their legs to help them stretch out their back. As a whole, this pose will stretch your dog’s ab muscles and front legs, along with strengthening hind leg joints.
• Sun Salute
Sun salutations stretch your dog’s muscles and get his body moving. Start in a seated position and move to carefully lifting your dog’s hind legs towards the ceiling. While holding his things, begin massaging the upper thighs with your hands. Try to have your dog stretch their torso out as well, which will also stretch the abs and hips while strengthening the front let joints.
• Bend Forward
Bend at the waist until you are folded in half with your hands and head down low. Lift up your dog carefully. Their weight will help increase your stretch and as you hold him, your dog will receive a nice stretch in their limbs as well.
• Puppy Paw Mudra
Have your dog lie down and extend their front legs. Kneel behind your dog and bend down to place your head on their back. Place your hands over their front paws, and extend both of your arms outwards. Turn your head to one side and begin calmly breathing.
• End with a Savasana
Lie on your back with your dog on your chest. Close your eyes and focus on controlling your breathing. Pet or massage your dog as you relax into this pose.